MPhil and PhD Programs in
Atmospheric Environmental Science (AES)

  • For the most updated PG course descriptions, please visit here .
  • Courses listed here will be offered based on resources available in each term and year. Details about course offerings in a particular term will be announced at course registration time.

Core Course

ENVR 5310 Atmospheric Dynamics [3 credit(s)]

Previous Course Code(s): ENVR 6040G

The study of atmospheric motions is essential for a better understanding of the relevant meteorological phenomena. This course introduces the conservation laws for primitive equations and classical concepts in fluid dynamics, which will allow students to gain physical insight into the fundamental nature of atmospheric motions. This course is suitable for students who require the foundation of fluid dynamics for advanced study in meteorology, oceanography, atmospheric and climate sciences.

On successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Apply the basic concepts of fluid dynamics and key variables describing the structure and motion of atmosphere.
  • Formulate the primitive equations and perform their simplifications.
  • Define circulation and vorticity, and their relationship.
  • Describe dynamical structure of the flow in the planetary boundary layer.
  • Describe the quasi-geostrophic theory to depict and explain the mid-latitude synoptic-scale motions.
  • Interpret the observed characteristics of large-scale atmospheric motions with fundamental principles.

ENVR 5410 Atmospheric Chemistry [3 credit(s)]

Co-list with: CHEM 5410

Exclusion(s): CHEM 5410

Background: Basic knowledge of physical chemistry

A fundamental introduction to the physical and chemical processes determining the composition of the atmosphere and its implications for climate, ecosystems, and human welfare. Atmospheric transport and transformation. Stratospheric ozone. Oxidizing power of the atmosphere. Regional air pollution: aerosols, smog, and acid rain. Nitrogen, oxygen, carbon, sulfur geochemical cycles. Climate and the greenhouse effect.


Elective Courses

ENVR 6040 Special Topics in Environment [1-6 credit(s)]

Offerings are announced each term, if deemed necessary, to cover emerging topics of environmental concerns not covered in the present curriculum. Typical topics are carbon audit and management, integrated environmental management systems, air-sea interactions, Life cycle analysis: a system perspective, etc.

On successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Identify the latest development in the technologies or management strategies on the topic concerned.
  • Integrate with the status quo knowledge/practices on the topic/subject.
  • Project the near-future trend of development concerned.
  • Anticipate the research/business/in-field opportunities on the topic/subject.

EVSM 6070 Environmental Impact Assessment [4 credit(s)]

Previous Course Code(s): EVSM 607, ENVR 607, AMCE 607

Exclusion(s): ENVS 5116

Introduction to environmental impact assessment (EIA) and the EIA process in Hong Kong. The components of an EIA report including air, noise, water, waste management, environmental risk, ecological impact, and socio-economic impact assessments will be analyzed. Environmental law, environmental management and the importance of public participation will also be discussed. Case studies from Hong Kong will be used and comparison with EIA in Mainland China will be made.

On successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Critically examine a broad range of environmental impacts in the EIA processes.
  • Identify the complex interactions among the various key components in the assessment processes.
  • Develop analytical and presentation skills to locate and evaluate the interactive dynamics between environment and scientific principles.

MATH 5311 Advanced Numerical Methods I [3 credit(s)]

Previous Course Code(s): MATH 531

Numerical solution of differential equations, finite difference method, finite element methods, spectral methods and boundary integral methods. Basic theory of convergence, stability and error estimates.

On successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Recognize and use appropriately numerical techniques in computation.
  • Develop numerical scheme to discretize partial differential equations.
  • Apply numerical analysis to examine the consistency, stability and convergence of the numerical methods.
  • Apply appropriate numerical schemes to solve real and hypothetical problems.

MATH 5350 Computational Fluid Dynamics for Inviscid Flows [3 credit(s)]

Previous Course Code(s): MATH 535

Derivation of the Navier-Strokes equations; the Euler equations; Lagriangian vs. Eulerian methods of description; nonlinear hyperbolic conservation laws; characteristics and Riemann invariants; classification of discontinuity; weak solutions and entropy condition; Riemann problem; CFL condition; Godunov method; artificial dissipation; TVD methods; and random choice method.

MATH 5351 Mathematical Methods in Science and Engineering I [3 credit(s)]

Previous Course Code(s): MATH 551

Modeling and analytical solution methods of nonlinear partial differential equations (PDEs). Topics include: derivation of conservation laws and constitutive equations, well-posedness, traveling wave solutions, method of characteristics, shocks and rarefaction solutions, weak solutions to hyperbolic equations, hyperbolic Systems, linear stability analysis, weakly nonlinear approximation, similarity methods, calculus of variations.

MATH 5460* Time Series Analysis [3 credit(s)]

Previous Course Code(s): MATH 546

Basic idea of time series analysis in both the time and frequency domains. Topics include: autocorrelation, partial ACF, Box and Jerkins ARIMA modeling, spectrum and periodogram, order selection, diagnostic and forecasting. Real life examples will be used throughout the course.

            * This course may be replaced by ISOM 5530 Multivariate Data Analysis.

MECH 5210 Fluid Dynamics [3 credit(s)]

Previous Course Code(s): MECH 521

Exclusion(s): AESF 5210, MESF 5210

Background: MECH 2210

Tensor notation, derivation of Navier-Stokes equations, vorticity transport, viscous flow, flow separation, boundary layer, flow instability, turbulent boundary layer, stratified flow, rotating flow.

PHYS 5110 Mathematical Methods in Physics [4 credit(s)]

Previous Course Code(s): PHYS 511

Review of vector analysis; complex variable theory, Cauchy-Rieman conditions, complex Taylor and Laurent series, Cauchy integral formula and residue techniques, conformal mapping; Fourier series; Fourier and Laplace transforms; ordinary differential equations, Bessel functions; partial differential equations, wave and diffusion equations, Laplace, Helmholtz and Poisson's equations, transform techniques, Green's functions; integral equations, Fredholm equations, kernals; Rieman sheets, method of steepest descent; tensors, contravariant and covariant representations; group theory, matrix representations.

Professional Development Course

PDEV 6770 Professional Development for Research Postgraduate Students [1 credit(s)]

Exclusion(s): CHEM 6770, ENVS 6770, LIFS 6770, MATH 6770, PHYS 6770, BIEN 6770, CENG 6770, CIVL 6770, COMP 6770, ELEC 6770, ENGG 6770, EVNG 6770, IEDA 6770, MECH 6770, SBMT 6770, SHSS 6770, IDPO 6770, ENVR 6770

This course aims at equipping research postgraduate students with transferrable skills conducive to their professional development. Students are required to attend 3 hours of mandatory training on Professional Conduct, and complete 12 hours of workshops, at their own choice, under the themes of Communication Skills, Research Competency, Entrepreneurship, Self‐Management, and Career Development. Graded PP, P or F.

On successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Critically analyze and evaluate ethical challenges and make value judgments on research ethics.
  • Develop a comprehensive set of essential transferable skills to enhance professional development.

English Language Courses

LANG 5000 Foundation in Listening & Speaking for Postgraduate Students [1 credit(s)]

Previous Course Code(s): LANG 500

For students whose level of spoken English is lower than ELPA Level 4 (Speaking) when they enter the University. The course addresses the immediate linguistic needs of research postgraduate students for oral communication on campus using English. To complete the course, students are required to attain at least ELPA Level 4 (Speaking). Graded P or F.

LANG 5010 Postgraduate English for Science Studies [1 credit(s)]

Previous Course Code(s): LANG 5000

This course is intended to provide RPG students of SSCI with essential training in academic writing, with a focus on the language used in a number of science contexts. The course is compulsory for all RPG students of SSCI (for students admitted in 2012/13 and onwards). Students who fail to fulfill the English language requirement of the University are advised to take LANG 5000 before enrolling for this course (for students admitted in 2009/10 and onwards). Graded P or F.

Postgraduate Seminar

ENVR 6010 Postgraduate Seminar [0 credit(s)]

Previous Course Code(s): ENVR 601, AMCE 601

Advanced seminar series presented by postgraduate students, faculty and guest speakers on selected topics in atmospheric environmental science or marine environmental science. This course is offered once a year. Graded P or F.

Thesis Research

ENVR 6990 MPhil Thesis Research [0 credit(s)]

Previous Course Code(s): ENVR 699, AMCE 699

Master's thesis research supervised by a faculty member. A successful defense of the thesis leads to the grade Pass. No course credit is assigned.

ENVR 7990 Doctoral Thesis Research [0 credit(s)]

Previous Course Code(s): ENVR 799, AMCE 799

Original and independent doctoral thesis research. A successful defense of the thesis leads to the grade Pass. No course credit is assigned.